From the Beginning

We make plans, at least most of us.
Before we venture into something, we tend to
consider our options and to weigh the benefits
of the potential outcomes for each. In fact, the
bigger the decision, the more judiciously we
tend to plan. The last thing most of us want is
to charge headlong into something without
first carefully thinking it through. So, we plan
ahead. We try to cover all the bases. We take
care to ensure that what we are planning is
prudent, in order that we not find ourselves in
conditions from which it will be difficult for us
to disentangle, at least without great loss.
God is a planner. More than that, God was
making plans for us before he even spoke the
first thing into creation. Before light, before
the heavenly bodies, before the firmament,
the animals, and plants and trees, God
decided that we should be near him. He
wanted us to be near him. He had determined
that you and I—because of his great love for
us—would have the opportunity to receive the
gift of holiness. According to the apostle Paul,
fallible and fault-filled humanity was chosen
by God to stand before God without fault. “He
chose us in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and blameless
before him” (Ephesians 1:4). That truth is
almost too great to bear. The human mind
struggles to grasp the enormity of what God
has done. More than that, we are hardly
equipped to comprehend fully the fact that
God planned our holiness and blamelessness
before the first second ever ticked on the

What does Creation mean to us? I am
not talking about the world around us right
now, per se. Rather, I am referring to
“capital-C Creation.” I am thinking about “In
the beginning …” I am envisioning and
imagining—poorly, as it were—the voice of
God as God calls into being (from nothing!)
the things that are. With that in mind, I am
curious how we respond to this
incomprehensible event in which God—
Father, Son, and Spirit—created the world
and everything that is in it, specifically as it
is narrated to us in Genesis 1 and 2. The
story of divine creativity that opens
Scripture also immediately introduces us to
the God who saves us. Biblically, it is our
first contact with God. How do we react to
this? What effect does it have on us today?
What significance does it have in our lives
beyond simply showing the glory and
power and majesty of our creative God?
How often do we consider—or do we
consider—the reality that what God did in
Creation continues to influence our lives
and our world in this day and time? The
fact that God made us is one thing. The
reality that God made us in order to be
near him and to be like him is something
else entirely. Oh, yes. It absolutely is
something else.
What we do with this is up to us, of
course. God will not force us into accepting
his gift of holiness and blamelessness. He
will not use his power to obligate us
against our will. He surely will compel us
with his gospel story, and he will love us
perfectly and relentlessly. Ultimately,
however, God waits patiently for us to
choose what he has already set aside for
us. –Ricky

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